Why we’re working it: To see if a utility automobile will also be an endearing on a regular basis automobile
Month 1 - Specs
Life with a Toyota Land Cruiser: Month 1
A 4x4 stuffed with joyful surprises over distance. Simply be careful for pranksters within the again - 31st October 2018
When the Toyota Land Cruiser arrived at Autocar Towers it had barely 60 miles on its odometer, however now, eight weeks later, it has 6152. I’ve been away for at the very least three weeks and after I’m round it’s not the one automotive I drive. Possibly that’s why I’m drained.
The Land Cruiser is a brief, rugged, body-on-frame bruiser with a reside rear axle and low-range switch gearbox. So naturally the overwhelming majority of these miles have been on the motorway.
The place, to my shock, the Land Cruiser is definitely actually nice. Sure, it’s excessive, at 1838mm tall, and at 4565mm fairly quick (about midway between a Ford Focus hatch and property size). Nevertheless it’s nonetheless very secure, proof against crosswinds and its tyres minimize via puddles securely. It rides quietly and comparatively easily – albeit there’s some head-toss owing to the peak and unsophisticated, heavy rear finish.
It additionally has different traits you wouldn’t affiliate with making for relaxed long-distance cruising: guide air-conditioning, a guide gearbox, and an absence of DAB digital radio. However I appear to seek out the best temperature simply and the guide is easy, if lengthy of throw.
And there’s a USB socket nestled behind a small panel – presumably sensibly positioned to maintain mud and dirt out should you drive in that form of setting reasonably than spending half of your week on the M40. Which implies I’ve additionally found podcasts. I’m so down with the children.
Worse, although, is that this 3dr Land Cruiser doesn’t get a spare wheel as normal. In actual fact, you'll be able to’t spec a 3dr with a full-size and even house saver in any respect, regardless of one being accessible in different nations, as an possibility, mounted to the tailgate.
I do know the LC has massive, knobbly, tyres, much less liable to puncturing than a saloon’s, however there’s no excuse for not having a spare on a rufty-tufty 4x4. Even one that's nice at cruising.
I can’t keep in mind the final time I drove a automotive that provided such a variance in gasoline consumption, at the very least not in regular driving. Normally, the Land Cruiser is returning round 31mpg, but it surely’s doable to take that to the mid-20s should you’re driving badly, whereas the opposite day I drove like my Dad and managed 45mpg on the way in which residence, because of utilizing hardly any throttle and a spot of sunshine slipstreaming on the motorway.
Apart from that, the Land Cruiser has established itself as a really useful gizmo. I drove it to North Wales for our annual Britain’s Greatest Driver’s Automobile characteristic. It was nabbed by our video manufacturing crew as a result of it’s good for car-to-car filming and holding a substantial quantity of package.
The quick 380-litre boot rises to 720 litres while you fold the 60/40 again seats down, a two-stage tumble course of. The backs fold first, you then roll the entire thing ahead, the place they transfer in the direction of the fronts and lock in place, leaving space for storing within the rear footwell.
Rear seat house is surprisingly beneficiant. Rear passengers can fold the entrance passenger seat out of the way in which by kicking a lever on it, which helps them attain the door. (Or if any individual’s sitting in stated entrance passenger seat, kicking the lever drops the seat again at nice pace, which my lad thinks is hilarious. Entrance seat passengers don't agree.)
At 5800 miles, the AdBlue warning mild got here on, saying I needed to high up the additive tank inside 1500 miles. I used to be about to cease anyway, so I purchased 10 litres of AdBlue, of which it took about 9.5 litres, through a filler beneath the bonnet. Subsequent time I’ll know to disregard the sunshine for a bit within the hope that an entire 10 litres will match, to avoid wasting me having a container with half a litre of liquid sloshing within the boot. Both a extra reluctant warning mild or a slightly larger tank can be dandy.
REAR VIEW FOR PARKING Door mirrors are large, so putting the perimeters of the automotive in parking areas is a doddle.
LEVER ERGONOMICS The gasoline filler lever is correct subsequent to the bonnet launch. I haven’t pulled the mistaken one but, however give it time.
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Tailgate is sensible - identical to the remainder of it - 10th October 2018
The Land Cruiser has a side-hinged tailgate on account of some variations carrying a spare wheel on the door – these variants don’t get a gap again window like this one. The primary tailgate, although, has a gasoline strut which might be twisted to lock it within the absolutely open place, to stop the door slamming closed within the wind or on a slope.
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Welcoming the Land Cruiser to the fleet - 26th September 2018
Right here is, I feel it’s truthful to say, a specification you don’t see day-after-day. Except you're employed for the United Nations, presumably. And even then, it’s most likely a five-door.
I've small hunch, although, that this, the three-door Toyota Land Cruiser of the most recent era, will turn out to be a barely extra acquainted sight on British roads than beforehand, owing to the demise of the Land Rover Defender.
I really feel a bit unhealthy evaluating the 2 as a result of, on even the quickest acquaintance, the Land Cruiser exhibits itself to be vastly superior to a Defender by way of journey consolation, engine quietness, inside plushness, audio sound, match and end, management weight consolation, heating and air flow, wind noise, turning circle, gasoline consumption… nicely, look, simply all the things, principally. However I ponder if it’s a automotive of comparable ethos.
Put it this manner: while you drive a supercar, small boys and infantile males like me cease and level at it. If you drive a Land Cruiser Utility, the individuals whose heads flip to comply with it are normally driving a tractor or a pick-up.
Its fundamental integrity and performance, then, is the rationale that the UN buys extra Land Cruisers than the UK. So when it got here to working one, we determined we’d prefer to run one which was completely as fundamental as doable.
Of all of the Land Cruiser variants, there are two sorts that do nicely within the UK. The all-singing, all-dancing Invincible seven-seat five-door range-topper is normally the preferred (£52,855). On the different finish of the dimensions is the Utility. We needed as fundamental a automotive as we may bear, and we bought fairly shut. The one possibility on our three-door Utility is among the few choices accessible: metallic paint.
There are six different accessible choices. They’re all various kinds of tow bar and wiring.
So what do you get? A 2.Eight-litre, four-cylinder diesel making a gentle 175bhp and 310lb ft of torque from simply 1400rpm. It drives all 4 wheels via a lazy however easy six-speed guide gearbox, which might be adequate for Zero-62mph in 12.8sec and go on to 108mph if I had been inclined to attempt both. Which I haven’t been to this point.
Of extra significance is that it’s solely Four.4m lengthy, about the identical as a Ford Focus, albeit a extra substantial 1885mm vast, and has a fantastic 10.4m turning diameter. Much less helpful in day by day driving however helpful for the form of factor we’ll ask the Land Cruiser to do are that it might probably tow three tonnes and has a low-range gearbox, a set of respectable strategy, breakover and departure angles (31deg, 22deg and 26deg respectively) and a 700mm wade depth.
You may get a business van model of the Land Cruiser however ours has home windows and rear seats and that will probably be important for me as a result of, in addition to being a device, it’ll be a day by day household drive. Helpful, too, then, will probably be an 87-litre gasoline tank and the truth that, pushed steadily, it appears simply able to greater than 30mpg. I’ll see what it might probably finest do on an extended, sedate cruise quickly, throughout which the leggy gearing will let it spin over at barely past tickover. Simply usually just lately, I’ve been in a rush. Soz.
What’s it like? Beautiful. The journey high quality is actually easy, management weights straightforward and responsive, and it heats up or cools down rapidly inside. It’s a really secure cruiser, too, regardless of the peak and the shortness. I’ve been disinclined to attempt an excessive amount of arduous cornering, but, however instantly after penning this, I do need to take it off street. Goody.
Certain, it’s fundamental, by fashionable requirements. There are not any parking sensors, but it surely’s not that lengthy and visibility is nice. There’s no sat-nav, however I've a telephone with a greater system than any OEM one anyway. There’s no DAB radio, however there are aux and USB sockets and my telephone has 4G. Issues all solved.
The one different quirk is that the rear tailgate swings open sideways, not from above. Meaning you'll be able to’t shelter below it whereas getting out of your wellies but additionally means you’ll see tailgates with a spare wheel tied to them.
It has a separate, top-hinging glass hatch, although, which has been the topic of the Land Cruiser’s solely foible to this point, and much from its personal fault. My neighbour’s lawnmower pinged a stone up and straight via the Land Cruiser’s rear window on the automotive’s very first day outdoors my home. My native supplier, who sorted a Toyota GT86 nicely after I ran a kind of, was in a position to supply and would have changed it inside per week for £700 (though, ultimately, the photographs you see right here and in a twin check you’ll discover on PistonHeads had been wanted in such a rush that Toyota kindly did it at emergency discover).
It’s an unusual-looking automotive, the quick Land Cruiser, in aspect profile notably: massive entrance overhang, cab nicely again within the quick chassis. Like Wile E Coyote’s head in profile, one wag has steered. And that’s simply fantastic by me. It’s a operate not type automobile. One whose features I’m notably excited to find over the approaching months.
I like it, all scratchy plastic and softly, softly drive. It’s amusing on the nationwide restrict, too, as a result of it’s so impervious to bumps and strikes round a lot that it feels ‘alive’ in a means that the majority fashionable SUVs don’t. It transfers the identical perspective to off-road, the place it feels prefer it may go wherever, all day, for about 120 years.
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Toyota Land Cruiser Utility 3dr specification
Specs: Worth New £33,955 Worth as examined: £34,655 Choices: Metallic paint £700
Check Information: Engine 2755cc, Four-cylinder, in-line diesel Energy 174bhp at 3400rpm Torque 310lb-ft at 1400-2600rpm Prime pace 108 Zero-62mph 12.1 Claimed gasoline financial system 37.6mpg Check gasoline financial system 32.1 CO2 199g/km Faults None Bills None
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